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International Credit Union (ICU) Day® has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948. More than 10 million people in Canada are members of credit unions, while world-wide, there are 231 million members. For almost 70 years, they have taken this day to reflect upon the credit union movement’s history and to promote its achievements.
Members honour those who have dedicated their lives to the movement, recognize the hard work of those working in the credit union industry and come together to celebrate their collective accomplishments and successes as owners of financial cooperatives.
“I have been involved with many International Credit Union days, both as a member and as a director of a small ($225 million) credit union in the southern interior of B.C.,” says Theresa Dergousoff, CPA, CA. A senior manager with MNP’s Private Enterprise Services in Vancouver, B.C., Theresa passionately believes what credit unions stand for around cooperative values and how they can be major economic drivers and employers in communities.
Any major event in a community impacts its credit union and the ongoing exodus of people and business from small communities is a common issue. One of the immediate concerns at her first board meeting was on the acquisition of the local bank branch, which pulled out in 2001. Then the local sawmill – formerly the largest employer in the area – went bankrupt in 2007.
“We watched as people left looking for other jobs, although their families stayed in the area to keep the kids in local school,” Theresa says. “They made those accommodations because people love their communities, what they stand for, the lifestyle and affordability, so holding on to that lifestyle and building their dreams is very important.”
Credit unions reflect their members’ goals – and aren’t pulling out of our communities either; they care about their members at every stage of their lives, they are there for the long term. From establishing community foundations, providing educational seminars for members, making donations and other financial contributions, our credit unions help here, funding people’s dreams.
In Theresa’s role as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with MNP, she works closely with small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) every day, in the Lower Mainland and in the B.C. interior. She knows the struggles all SME’s take on daily; creating jobs, working tirelessly to get ahead. Having previously worked with insolvency, Theresa also sees how important financial literacy is to both consumers and businesses. Every job credit unions create is precious and more so in small communities where the economic spin-off from buying local is extremely important.
“At MNP, we also believe in supporting the communities where we work and live. A Canada-wide firm, I choose to work here because MNP’s core values are aligned with my own, particularly around making the communities we live and work in stronger,” she says. “And this common interest is reflected in our long-standing relationship with more credit unions across Canada than any other firm.”
Credit unions have the cooperative gene in their DNA and share the same values of concern for community and education of members. Credit unions do the good community work that needs to be done, where enhancing Canadian’s financial well-being is a core value.
At MNP we recognize when communities succeed, our clients succeed. Similarly, when communities succeed, credit unions succeed.
So, on this International Credit Union Day we at MNP celebrate the building of prosperity by being local focused. We salute our credit unions and fellow credit union members, both in Canada and around the world: together we can make a difference in the communities in which we work, play, thrive and dream.
For more information, contact:
Theresa Dergousoff, CPA, CA Senior Manager, Private Enterprise Services T: 604.685.8408 E:
Annette Bester, CPA, CA National Leader, Credit Union Services T: 306.664.8327 E:
Related Topics:Small Business
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